Student finance is never a simple topic to cover (well, except when university was free!). On this page, we’ll touch only on the most important things students need to know. But if you’re struggling to find the will to digest it all right now, I’ll lay down a quick summary:
1. The maximum universities can charge for tuition fees in 2012 is £9,000. That’s a three-fold increase on 2011.
2. Full-time students can apply for a maintenance loan of £5,500 (more for London)
3. The average university graduate will be saddled with a student debt of £43,500
4. You pay back 9% of everything you earn over £21,000 per annum
5. Biggest myth: You do not pay a penny for your education until you graduate and earn a decent salary!
6. After 30 years any outstanding student debt is written off
7. Interest is charged at the rate of inflation +3% pa whilst you are at university, which continues at 0-3% pa thereafter (depending on your salary)
8. Your student loan repayments are deducted from your paycheck by your employer
9. Funding and support is available for a good proportion of students, but especially those from lower-income families
10. Many of these changes now apply for part-time students, however they cannot apply for a maintenance loan
11. There are differences between systems in England, Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland
12. While the real cost of university education for some is tripling, some students will also be better off under the new system.